Skip to main content

Today, CIOs have clearly understood the importance of management in retaining talent and dealing with recruitment tensions in IT. But with the major transformation programs underway and the continued demand for resources, they must make further progress. This evolution begins with better anticipation of recruitment, a strategic subject that is often poorly understood.


Interview with Pierre-Emmanuel LEVACHER, IT recruitment consultant at LUCERNYS.

What is your assessment of IT sourcing today?

Pierre-Emmanuel LEVACHER: With the deployment of the cloud, the digital workplace, agility… the number of business transformation programs is increasing and with them comes a strong need for resources to support this movement.

The tension on the sector is found on all IT positions, and in an ever more pronounced way. In recent months, this has been particularly true for cloud architect and network and systems engineer profiles.

A person working in these jobs receives several requests each day. For a recruiter, the approach to this type of profile, hyper-solicited, is becoming more and more delicate. Without a qualitative approach, it drowns in a sea of contacts.

What is LUCERNYS’ approach in this penurious market?

PEL: In the IT recruitment business, LUCERNYS has a long-lasting positioning thanks to a very qualitative approach deployed throughout the process, from the first contact, through the follow-up of the process, to the closing of the recruitment.

Honesty and transparency towards the candidate is crucial throughout this process. The quality of the contact is based on both human and informative dimensions. If you don’t give specific information about the position or the mission, the candidate will not give anything in return. This may seem obvious, but there is a culture of recruiters that is far too entrenched in withholding key information such as, for example, the name of the client or the location of the position itself. These practices are now counterproductive.

There is an ingrained culture among recruiters to withhold key information.

We must be transparent. Information about the company is therefore essential for a candidate to make a choice. In addition to the basic information, the company department, department, reporting line, mission, team size, etc., are elements that the candidate should have access to very early in the process.

This transparency is necessary to build trust with candidates. This is especially true in times of shortage.

What difficulties do you observe in IT sourcing strategies?

PEL: There are of course many difficulties, some specific to recruitment in general (reactivity, definition of the need…), others to IT and its imbrication within the company’s departments. As far as governance is concerned, there are already two areas that are struggling to come to an agreement: the IT department and Purchasing. But when it comes to recruiting, there are three, with HR coming into the loop.

Purchasing controls the cost of recruitment services and establishes the pricing grids for the agency. The large groups have referencing problems that sometimes impose restrictive rules in terms of purchasing. They rightly want to lower their costs, but in a tight market, prices rise mechanically.

As far as HR is concerned, they want to enforce a classic recruitment process. However, CIOs often launch recruitment on their own to be reactive and to meet the needs of operational staff, which is not irrelevant in view of the elements mentioned. The intervention of HR on aspects that they do not master is therefore sometimes counterproductive by discouraging candidates. It is therefore essential that these three parties agree upstream so that they play their role well at each stage of the process: initial definition of the salary package,
with the operational staff and contractual finalization.

Thus, through a reversed process, recruitment often responds pertinently to current problems.

Does the IT department bear a particular responsibility for sourcing difficulties?

PEL: The CIO is obviously not responsible for the market shortage. The origin of the talent shortage in IT is primarily structural, with poorly designed training policies (even if efforts are being made today to correct them with the implementation of new programs).

On the other hand, shortcomings in terms of management or integration of new employees partly explain the high level of turnover observed within IT departments. For a long time now, we have been observing a lack of managerial culture within IT departments, with, depending on the situation, a distance, or even mistrust, between the manager and his or her team, whether internal or, a fortiori, external, or a lack of visibility for employees in sometimes “political” contexts. These shortcomings, coupled with generally unsatisfactory internal development prospects in a tight market, automatically generate turnover.

There is still too little managerial culture within IT departments.

Without any kind of benevolence towards them, without career development or training plans, and with management that is not always available, employees have no difficulty in giving in to the requests that are made of them.

As the teams are not stabilized and the shortage of talent complicates recruitment to compensate for departures, the IT department is putting itself in an extremely penalizing and even risky situation. Not to lose one’s talents is certainly a first step to return to a virtuous circle.

What are the reactions of CIOs to this situation?

PEL: Although there are still maturity issues in some IT departments in terms of their responsiveness or availability, most CIOs have taken charge of these issues. They have integrated, on the one hand, the urgency to reinvent themselves to avoid the flight of profiles and, on the other hand, the sensitivity of the current market.

However, all too often, recruitment is still not considered a priority topic and is therefore handled at the end of the day, a secondary task. It is however a strategic point.

For many IT departments, recruitment is not considered a priority.

What is a candidate looking for today?

PEL : Finally, it doesn’t matter what the name of the company or the sector of activity is, even if there are always personal affinities. Profiles are looking for a position or an assignment first. What interests them is above all the quality of the project or the technical environment in which they will evolve. It is also important that the prospects for development offered by the position are clearly defined. Access to managerial responsibilities can be an incentive, for example. On the other hand, the employer brand argument is very rarely of primary importance for joining an IT department.

How does LUCERNYS support its customers in this business?

PEL: LUCERNYS facilitates the sourcing strategy of its customers. Today, thanks to its global vision of the IT market and its detailed knowledge of the business, its role is first to make its customers aware of the strong tension in the market. LUCERNYS also offers its clients the benefit of its understanding of current emoluments, both in terms of salary and GPA, and advises them in adjusting their offers.

Finally, LUCERNYS brings the level of reactivity expected by customers in order to accelerate and fluidify the recruitment process, generally caught between the shortage of profiles and the acceleration of new projects.

The recruitment activity of LUCERNYS represents one third of its activity.

This IT sourcing activity is divided into 3 offers :
– recruitment of business experts.
– long-term management services across the entire IT spectrum.
– consulting function on the recruitment part, by accompanying the choice of the person, from the technician to the CIO.